With the NFL Playoffs in full swing, all of our beloved dynasty teams are in offseason mode. A wise manager knows the word “off” in “offseason” is all a facade. Now is the time to buy players who may have underachieved or failed to realize their true potential. The economy of the tight-end position is more abundant than ever before. If you don’t have one of the several elite options that have emerged as of late, fear not, as today I’ll be giving you three options that have a chance to be difference-makers as soon as next year.
Luke Musgrave, GB
Before getting into why you should target Musgrave this offseason, I have to preface my stance by saying this is a unique situation. Musgrave, a second-round pick in 2023, started the year as the Packers starting TE but then sustained a lacerated kidney, which kept him off the field from Week 12 until his return in a limited role during Week 18.
During that time, fellow rookie Tucker Kraft filled in admirably for Musgrave. We have yet to see how the roles of each player will shake out when Musgrave is fully incorporated back into the lineup after sustaining his scary injury. That said, I’m all in on the Packers’ offense. Jordan Love will be the next Packers quarterback to carry the torch from the past two decades of successful, talented play-callers in Green Bay.
Now, back to why I’m high on Musgrave. Before the draft, he scored a 9.78 RAS (Relative Athletic Score), which grades your combined performance on a scale of 1-10, accounting for your size. While athletic scores aren’t everything, that is an elite number to take note of. Musgrave also measured in at nearly 6’6″ and 253 pounds. As you can see on his college tape, Luke’s movement skills for his size are special.
Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave is a super intriguing prospect.— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) January 20, 2023
6’6 250lbs – 36.5 vert, 4.51 👀 40 yd dash. Not a ton of college production but the upside is there.
Freak athlete with soft hands- if coached up right could be make an impact
Per FantasyPros, Musgrave was tied for sixth place in receptions of 20+ yards for all TEs during the stretch. He was healthy from Weeks 1-11 (first among rookies). He also ranked first in the NFL for all TE’s in Target Separation (PlayerProfiler.com). I believe Musgrave has a chance to develop into a top option for Jordan Love and add another dimension to this evolving, explosive offense.
Kyle Pitts, ATL
What would an offseason discussion about tight ends be without mentioning this polarizing fellow? Before labeling Pitts as a bust, hear me out. This year, he was not the same player we were used to seeing out there. Why? There was a lack of clarity regarding Pitts’ season-ending knee injury last year, but it was assumed that he received surgery to repair a torn MCL and would be a full-go for training camp with no limitations.
However, watching Pitts play this year, it is evident that he had a noticeable limp in his gait while trying to run routes. I believe the Falcons caught on to this, too, and started to design routes that he could run more effectively on the left side of the field. This change in scheme allowed him to have one of his best games of the year in Week 5.
"how can the Falcons get Kyle Pitts going?"— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) October 8, 2023
we have the answer
ask him to turn left pic.twitter.com/PtrJjRIHTV
Could I be overanalyzing this? Sure. But let’s hear from Pitts himself after the season concluded via his Instagram page.
Kyle Pitts announces his 2022 injury was worse than initially reported. Hopefully a normal offseason this time around gives him more juice. Was clearly not himself in 2023. Oh, HC and QB upgrades are coming.— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) January 10, 2024
Buy the dip. pic.twitter.com/ofgPERFO1w
Did you catch that? “Torn MCL/PCL”. As anyone who watched Pitts this past year expected, the whole truth never came out, and his injury was more severe than initially thought to be.
Think back to the end of the 2021 season. Pitts was UNTOUCHABLE, the same way Sam LaPorta is now. With the plethora of weapons the Falcons have on offense, I fully expect them to hire an offensive-minded coach and do everything they can to land a franchise QB this offseason (Justin Fields?) after dealing with bottom-of-the-barrel play from the position ever since Matt Ryan left.
Pitts is younger than Dalton Kincaid, Jake Ferguson, and Trey McBride. There is no way I’m giving up on somebody of his caliber. He played less than 100% all year and was stuck in one of the worst situations in the NFL. Target Pitts aggressively now before your window to get him at his lowest price ever has passed.
Tyler Conklin, NYJ
This last “buy-low” feels dirty, if I’m being honest. As fantasy managers, we sometimes have to be content with hitting a double and not swinging for the fences on every move we make. Enter Conklin.
The Jets were an absolute disaster on the offensive side of the ball this season. Will the seemingly cursed franchise turn things around with a healthy Aaron Rodgers next year? I certainly hope so. If so, the Jets’ receiving options would certainly welcome a noticeable boost. Remember when Rodgers dished out 11 TDs to Robert Tonyan in 2020? If you give Conklin less than HALF of that total with a modest five TDs after scoring zero times, you would be looking at a top-ten (PPR) season for Tyler Conklin in 2023.
Surprisingly, Conklin was ninth in air yards and sixth in deep targets, with Zach Wilson, Trevor Semian, and Tim Boyle at the helm for QB (PlayerProfiler.com). Also, per PlayerProfiler, Conklin lined up in the slot at the fifth-highest rate this past season. He had the ninth-best total for routes run at the position. These stats are pretty impressive with how poor the Jets’ quarterback play has been. It shows New York viewed Conklin as a valuable piece to their passing game.
With the tight-end landscape shifting, rumors of Travis Kelce retiring, and the T.J. Hockenson ACL injury, this could open the door for two more spots within the top ten in 2024. What is Conklin realistically going to cost you? A fourth-rounder? A throw-in player to get a larger deal done? Next year, Conklin might be a sneaky overachiever who could be a valuable piece to your contending team.
Get the Dynasty Nerds app in the Apple and Google Play stores. Mock drafts for Superflex, 1QB, and Standard. If you are a DynastyGM subscriber, it even syncs with your actual teams so that you can do rookie mock drafts with ALL of your actual picks, also on your desktop.